EWG found cancer-causing chromium-6 in tap water from 31 of 35 cities it tested. Americans deserve the protection of official safety standards to protect our water and health. Learn more.
Drinking water supplies for two-thirds of Americans are contaminated with the carcinogenic chemical made notorious by the film "Erin Brockovich," which was based on the real-life poisoning of tap water in a California desert town. But there are no national regulations for the compound – and the chemical industry is trying to keep it that way.
Under an Environmental Protection Agency program, from 2013 to 2015, local water utilities took more than 60,000 water samples and found chromium-6 in more than 75 percent of samples. The EPA's tests were spurred by a 2010 EWG investigation that found elevated levels of chromium-6 in the tap water of 31 of 35 cities sampled. EWG's analysis of the EPA data estimates that water supplies serving 218 million Americans have potentially unsafe levels of the chemical.
As news about North Carolina’s governor and his administration downplaying the risks of drinking water contaminated with hexavalent chromium unfolds, two leading environmental health advocates are pushing the Obama administration to finally set a nationwide standard for the highly toxic chemical.Read More
June 10, 2014
Re: IRIS Toxicological Review for Hexavalent Chromium; Cr(VI) Docket EPA-HQ-ORD-2014-0313Read More
In 2013, California proposed a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 micrograms per liter (μg/L) for hexavalent chromium. EWG, in conjunction with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Clean Water Action and others, submitted comments to the California Department of Public Health strongly opposing the proposed standard and urging the Department to move to a health protective standard.Read More
The State of California’s proposed drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6, could leave roughly 24 million residents, or more than 60 percent of the state’s population, unprotected from the known carcinogen, according to a review of the proposal by Environmental Working Group, Clean Water Action, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Public Environmental Oversight and Integrated Resource Management.Read More
This week, EWG joined the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in filing a suit against California regulators for failing to develop a drinking water standard to protect millions of state residents against contamination by hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6.Read More
The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Working Group today sued the California Department of Public Health for failing to protect millions of Californians from hexavalent chromium, the cancer-causing chemical made infamous in the movie “Erin Brockovich” for contaminating drinking water and sickening residents in the town of Hinkley, California.Read More
In 2010, EWG identified chromium-VI contamination in the drinking water of 31 of the 35 cities we tested. One Kentucky city has stepped up to solve that problem.Read More
People are messy. So is nature. And what people do when nature unleashes its fury often makes things worse.
The staff at Environmental Working Group took a look at the major environmental news stories of the year and came up with two lists: the Top 10 Good News stories and the Top 10 Bad News stories.Read More
EWG submits comments on EPA's IRIS program draft toxicological review of hexavalent chromium.Read More
Across the nation, water agencies have conducted hundreds of voluntary tests for this pollutant in response to EWG's startling discovery in 2010 that chromium-6 contamination is widespread in Americans' water supplies.Read More
The California Environmental Protection Agency has set a public health goal of 0.02 parts per billion for drinking water contamination with the carcinogenic compound hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6.Read More
The Water Research Foundation, an offshoot of the American Water Works Association of water utilities, has accused Environmental Working Group of informing utility customers about the presence of chromium-6, a suspected carcinogen, in their tap water. "Reckless and irresponsible," the foundation claims.Read More
Tap water industry representatives made no mention of their chromium-6 2004 study when they testified alongside EWG at a Feb. 2 Senate environment committee hearing on chromium-6 pollution.Read More
EWG’s study of chromium-6 contamination in tap water is not the first to attempt to assess chromium-6 pollution across the country.Read More
Some water utility representatives have protested Environmental Working Group’s report of laboratory tests that found worrisome levels of chromium-6, a suspected carcinogen, in the drinking water of 31 cities across the country. Yet the tap water industry was worried enough about the contaminant to conduct its own extensive survey in 2004 that found clear evidence of widespread chromium-6 pollution in untreated source water. The survey, conducted by the Awwa Research Foundation (since renamed the Water Research Foundation), an offshoot of the American Water Works Association, obtained data on 341 source water samples from 189 utilities in 41 states. The conclusion: chromium-6 is common in American groundwater.Read More
The boom in natural gas drilling across the United States has spawned well-warranted fears that the fluids and chemicals used to free the gas from surrounding rock could pose a risk to drinking water supplies that tens of millions depend on.Read More
EWG urges California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to set a strict public health goal for hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6, a probable carcinogen, and move rapidly to establish an enforceable legal limit for the pollutant in drinking water.Read More